Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
It’s all in the family. We can learn so much from our family origins, as knowing where we come from can be a good indication as to where we are going. Our Lord Himself was no different in this respect. Today we celebrate His family by celebrating the Birth of His Mother, Our Lady. Everything we believe about Mary is directly related to Our Lord Jesus in some way, shape, or form. She was conceived without the stain of original sin, and this, her Immaculate Conception which we celebrate on December 8th, reflects how the Lord in a special way chose her to be spotless as the Temple in which He would become flesh. Now, nine months later on September 8th, we celebrate her birthday, a fitting day to celebrate the Mother of Our Incarnate Lord.
Today's Gospel deals mainly with a long list of names, some that are hard to pronounce with enough apostrophes for one lifetime. However, as I said before, we can learn much from our family of origins. This is no different in the life of Our Lord. Among the names of the men in Christ’s ancestry, we see four women listed by name. Each of these women had very unusual stories in the course of history, and they were not stories of virtue. Christ’s ancestry is full of sin, with adulterers, murderers, prostitutes, among many other evildoers. Why then does Matthew mention Jesus and Mary among this list?
It is to show that in His mission which would involve dining and drinking with sinners, He Himself came from a line of sinners. He assumed not only the nature but also the family line of sinners so that both the universal human family and His particular human family might be redeemed. With the cooperation of His Mother, who is the New Eve, Christ, who is the New Adam has redeemed the human family from our brokenness and our sinfulness. No matter our family, or background, or our history, we too can become new creations in Jesus Christ.
As we celebrate this redemption in a special way with the birth of Our Lady today, we might just think of our own families. How can we cooperate with the Lord to bring peace, joy, and redemption to our own families? We might invite a family member back to Mass or the Sacraments. We might ask them to pray a decade of the Rosary with us. We might ask them to read the Scriptures with us. Little things like this continue our daily “yes” to God and in doing so continue the work of Mary in bringing Christ to our families.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
What role has your own family played in your spiritual journey?
How are you helping your family to grow in holiness?
How can you imitate Mary and the Holy Family?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Make me a new creation."
"Christ, you are welcome in this family."
"Christ, you are the center of our life."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Invite your family to pray with you today.
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's prayer was prepared by Kevin Poynton, graduate of the University of Dayton with a Degree in Religious Studies.